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Posthumous certificate conferred to Deborah Lubbert

May 21, 2018

During commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 18, Heartland Community College conferred a posthumous certificate in Small Business Management to Deborah Lubbert. 

According to her family, returning to college was no small decision for Deborah. The business certificate was a major goal for Deborah as she focused on her studies while facing a serious illness. 

She was passionate about being able to go back to school,” said her husband, Michael Lubbert. “Life changes and sometimes you have to remake yourself.” 

Deborah graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Illinois State University in 1983. For many years, she used her skills in research and her interest in history to operate a business, The Genealogy Branch. Her interest in the growing roles of social media with small business and independent contractors brought her to Heartland. 

“She wanted to work with independent authors and artists to help them with the business side of things,” said Michael. "She and I both were always interested in education, improving yourself and improving your neighborhood."

At Heartland, Deborah embraced her studies (Michael, who worked many years for H&R Block, helped her study for her accounting class) and she was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society. Michael said some of her studies at Heartland were taken one class per semester, as her schedule would allow.

Deborah passed away in November of 2017 from complications due to kidney cancer. Her classes were nearly completed at the time of her death.

Dana King and Linda Lambert with the Business and Technology Learning Center were instrumental in arranging for Deborah to be awarded the certificate.  

“It’s very meaningful to me that Dana, Linda and the Heartland staff worked to make sure Debbie got her certificate," said Michael.

The Small Business Management Program is a 32 credit hour Certificate that requires courses in accounting, taxes, business communication, management, and other subjects. Deborah Lubbert's studies toward her certificate would have been completed at the end of the Fall 2017 semester.

This is the first time Heartland has awarded a posthumous certificate or degree.

Written by: Steve Fast